Bring Out the Blooms

We love flowers (who doesn’t?). But when it comes to selecting and styling a bouquet or outdoor planter, we’re less DIY than don’t-know-where-to-begin. So we called in our resident floral expert, Courtney Paré, to give us a step-by-step.

Having honed the art of floral design through a flower shop job in her teens, Courtney kept her skills sharp and ultimately took friends’ advice, turning her pastime into a blooming (ahem, booming) business, Arranged Floral Design Studio.

Dudley Stephens fleece

Here’s her advice for simple spring arranging.

Bypass Bouquets. “Pre-arranged bouquets tend to be poorer quality, and less appealing. Choose individual flowers and keep it simple with 1-2 flower varieties and filler like seasonal greens.”

Stick to a Scheme. “Pick a color combo like green and white or monochromes like pinks. A random variety of hues can feel disjointed. Keep selections focused—hydrangea, tulips and roses are almost always right—then go for greenery to fill out the rest. And remember: More is more. You usually need more flowers than you think.”

Start with a Secret Weapon. “Floral tape (on Amazon), or simple scotch tape, is the secret to organized arrangements. Tape off a tic tac toe grid and slot in larger flowers first. Then fill in the rest of your grid with a second flower and filler.”

Dudley Stephens fleece

Plan Your Planters. “When it comes to outdoor planters, think of your scheme in three layers—a trailing plant like sedum, a midlayer like lantana, and something tall, like grasses. If plant care isn’t your thing, choose something hardy and drought-tolerant to bypass constant watering. I love garden-to-vase plants like yarrow and blue thistle, which you can bring indoors for instant arrangements.”

Dress For It. “Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and experiment. Nature is pretty, but not always tidy (but it’s worth it!). I’m currently living in my Island Coral Terry Fleece, which is quick-drying, dirt-repelling—and on-point from client visits to carpool duty.”

Dudley Stephens fleece